State servants to observe 2-minute silence

LIAM HYSLOP
Last updated 17:07 05/09/2014
Flowers
JOHN KIRK-ANDERSON/FAIRFAX NZ
IN MEMORY: Flowers are placed at the scene of the shooting in Ashburton.

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New Zealand's state servants are being asked to observe two minutes silence on Monday to remember the victims of the Ashburton Work and Income shooting.

Peggy (Peg) Noble and Leigh Cleveland were killed, and Lindy Curtis was injured, when a gunman opened fire in the Ashburton Work and Income on Monday.

Russell John Tully, 48, was charged with two counts of murder and one count of attempted murder in relation to the shooting.

State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie today invited New Zealand's state servants to observe a two minutes silence at 9:51am on Monday, exactly one week after the shooting.

"Together we will mark the time this tragedy unfolded, show our respect for the greatly valued colleagues we have lost, and also show our support for everyone who has been affected by what happened in Ashburton.

"I know this has been a difficult time for the staff at Work and Income and the wider Ministry of Social Development, as well as for other state servants around NewZealand."

Many Work and Income offices, including Blenheim, Rotorua, Hastings and all in the Canterbury region, were forced to close at times during the week following threats.

Arrests have been made in some of those cases.

Social Development Minister Paula Bennett was confronted today by a small band of protesters in Hamilton who accused her of having blood on her hands over the shootings.

Rennie said the three women in Ashburton had given many years of dedicated service to the New Zealand public and deserved to be remembered.

"This act of extreme violence was against innocent people working hard to help other New Zealanders.

"Our silence will be a mark of respect and to also express our sympathies and condolences to the families, friends and colleagues of Peg and Leigh, while also wishing Lindy a fast and full recovery from her injuries."

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- Fairfax Media

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